Ten Tips for Community Managers

Capturator: Making Self-Directed Language Learning Possible

As we build an international elearning marketplace, we’re always thrilled to feature some of the creative developers selling their elearning content on OpenSesame. The folks from Capturator are doing their best to make you more international, by creating effective and interactive elearning courses teaching Spanish, French, Italian and English.

Capturator founders Marie Hédiard, Kurt Röllin and Marco Loche are examples of those magical people – both creative and technical – who love to learn and help others learn. We’re taking advantage of this opportunity to pick their brains and introduce them to you.

How did you get interested in creating elearning courses?

We founded a consultancy over 20 years ago to offer advice to Italian administration, corporates, small companies and international agencies on doing business in Italy.

We found it difficult to connect our customers to effective online language learning resources, we we founded Capturator in 2000. Our original goal was to promote language learning with resources “captured” from the web. After a few years, we decided to create our own catalogue of online language courses, produced from the start in conformity with CEFR and SCORM standards.

Your courses use a variety of different formats and media types. How did you develop your approach to building elearning content?

From the beginning we have produced all of our content in-house, with our own authoring systems and learning environment. We also produce all of the media components, excluding a few stock photos! As we have grown, we have developed an internal process to manage the authoring and  publishing of content (with more than 20,000 exercise pages).

We develop and maintain specialized software for content management and content delivering and thus we safely separate and protect the content from the continuous and fast evolution of technology to deliver them. Our proprietary software includes:

  • CaLoGe (Capturator Learning Object Generator) is a Java based desktop application that allows us to separate the content management from its delivering support.

  • CaLo (Capturator Learning Object player) is the content player that delivers the content in a SCORM or AICC environment. In 2009 we switched from a HTML/Javascript to a Adobe Flex content player for better support.

What’s something unique or unusual about Capturator?

What makes Capturator unique is its constant effort to upgrade its products and services from both a pedagogical and technical point of view, introducing new features only if we think them to be relevant for learners, tutors and teachers. A good examples of how we improve our content is the indexing with metadata of all our language courses. The system of metadata, based on LOM and Dublin Core standards, and adapted for linguistic contents by using the CEFR descriptors, allows both learners and teachers to search and select the learning content they specifically need.

Another example is our new CASSYS testing system. The Capturator ASsessment SYStem is a highly evolved platform running language tests in a way that separates the item management from the way they are administred. CASSYS offers the possibility to administer ready-to-use tests or to create new testing solutions.

More generally speaking Capturator offers specific solutions for each group of users: companies, higher education, libraries, private learners. Private learning can come on our platform to do their course, assisted by our coaching system. A school or university can uses the courses on our platform or get them transferred to their own LMS. Our softwares are compatible with any kind of LMS, operating system or browser.

Companies use our testing system to assess the language level of their employees, together with or independently from our courses. Different solutions for different needs – not one big system, but flexible contents that can be easily integrated into pre-existing learning programs or for creating new learning itineraries designed for reaching specific goals.

To explore Capturator’s rich selection of language courses in the OpenSesame marketplace, visit their profile.